Meet Claire Fletcher, Teacher of Geography
How did you get into teaching?
I was a Sports Leader and mentor to some younger pupils when I was at school and enjoyed helping them, which inspired me to become a teacher. I was also lucky enough to have an excellent Geography Teacher who influenced my passion for this subject, as I enjoyed his lessons. Having gone to university to study Geography, I took a year out afterwards to go travelling. I wanted to get first-hand experience of some of the places I knew I would be teaching others about, before I actually started my teacher training.
Why did you decide to start teaching at a UTC?
I particularly enjoy teaching older students and preparing them for their GCSEs, so the age groups taught at UTC really appealed to me. The focus on connecting learning to the world of work here is important in preparing young adults for the ‘real world’ and I feel my subject, Geography, plays a large role in this too.
What interests you about your area?
Geography is everywhere and its always changing! It’s so much more than memorising places on a map, it’s about understanding the complexity of the world and the interactions within it, and I genuinely believe the study of it holds the key to our future.
What is the most enjoyable thing about teaching your subject?
Seeing pupils establish their own ‘Personal Geographies’ when they develop a true interest in a place, topic or idea and ask questions or offer comments about it, as they realise aspects of it can be applied to ‘their world.’ Seeing students become passionate about my subject is one of the main reasons I became a Geography Teacher.
What topics do the students enjoy the most?
The students often enjoy the Natural Hazards topic the most, which includes projects on volcanoes, earthquakes and hurricanes. It’s a great reminder that we can’t control or predict everything in the world and that the earth has a way of reminding us of its true power.
What are the benefits of studying at a UTC?
The excellent facilities and access to technology in all subjects is a big advantage. This alongside a positive atmosphere and supportive staff creates a calm learning setting. The dual approach of academic and technical study creates a unique learning environment that prepares students for their future.
What are your goals for the department?
To further develop lesson resources and quality, so that classes remain excited and are encouraged to develop a genuine love for the subject. I want my students to achieve in their GCSEs, so that they have an understanding of the world, which will be to their advantage as they begin to navigate through it.
What are your quarantine top tips?
Don’t overthink the big things that you have no control over, and remember it’s important to take regular study breaks. Try to use this time to your advantage, by doing something you wouldn’t normally have time to do, whether it be a new hobby or sport.
How are you staying motivated during lockdown?
I’ve found it useful keeping a routine everyday and focusing on the positives. I’ve made a little post lockdown ‘bucket list’ of all the things I want to do when things start to return back to normal.